This year's Debate theme is;
Are we Still the Lucky Country?
The Future of Workplace Relations in Australia
The Debate will be chaired by Justice Iain Ross AO, President of the Fair Work Commission.
There is a common perception in Australia that ours is “the lucky country”, a land with broadly shared prosperity that has avoided many of the problems faced by other nations.
However, when Donald Horne coined that phrase to describe Australia, he meant it ironically as a rebuke and a wakeup call – as an indictment of our society.
Has Australia’s luck finally run out? Are we complacent in the face of urgent and significant issues? If we are lucky, lucky for whom?
What role has the workplace relations system played in Australia’s luck and shared prosperity? Is it up to the task in its current form? Are the IR stakeholders fully equipped to fulfil their role in facing Australia’s challenges?
Or what workplace relations reforms would help Australia make its own luck and to face both the pressing challenges of today and those on the horizon?